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Increasingly expensive Uber faces Chinese rival Didi in Merida

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Photo: Didi

Merida, Yucatan — Although the cost of gasoline remains on a downward trend and competition looms, Uber rates are rising nearly 25 percent.

The timing may seem strange. The world’s second-largest ride-sharing company is about to challenge Uber’s dominance in Merida.

Clocking roughly 30 million rides a day around the world, China-based Didi will begin in Yucatan later this month.

But Uber this week sent an email message to its passengers and drivers announcing their minimum fee has grown from 20 to 25 pesos. Riders, who were charged 1.45 pesos per kilometer, now pay 1.65 pesos.

“Dynamic pricing,” which adjusts rates upward when demand is tight, is also still in effect.

San Francisco-based Uber is the most expensive of the competing ride-sharing platforms. reported Sipse, which publishes Milenio Novedades.

But passengers have options, and one of them is new to the area.

The third week of December, a Chinese company will offer the Merida Didi platform. Didi executives have recruited their first “partner-operators,” many of whom already drive for the six other platforms that operate in Merida.

The Asian company, which has displaced its competitors from the West, is fine-tuning details to enter the Merida market, where these services have grown in the last two years.

Didi is investing heavily overseas, including South America and Australia, where it also offers shared motorcycles, bicycles and even scooters.

For drivers, they promise up to 11,000 pesos a week for their best drivers.

The ride-sharing company is already operating in Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city, as well as Toluca. Didi is also preparing to launch operations in Chihuahua, Mexicali, Tijuana and Puebla.

The Chinese company expanded to Latin America last year when it acquired a stake in its Brazilian rival 99. Over 1,000 local Didi employees work in Mexico and Brazil, according to Tony Qiu, the company’s general manager for Latin American operations.

Sources: Sipse, Near Shore America

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